The Palm Pre comes out in a few weeks, and many are hoping that this is finally the smartphone out there that can capably compare to the iPhone. Of course, one key to that is having a devoted developer community that makes the device more valuable
. Palm is betting the business on the Pre, and some of the early reports I'd heard from developers about its WebOS platform were that it was a great
development environment. Since I think it's good for the overall market to have strong competitors, I was hopeful that maybe the Pre would live up to the hype (to be honest, I'm thinking about getting one myself). However, slimcat, points us to the story of overly legalistic Palm overreacting to a minor issue
and canceling a chance to work with the folks who were setting up PreDevCamp. Now, Palm had no obligation to work with the folks setting it up, but it would be a good way to support the developer community. So why did they bail out? Apparently because one of the folks behind PreDevCamp mentioned on Twitter that he was meeting with Palm, but that he couldn't say anything since the meeting was under NDA.
Now, if you've been around larger companies for any length of time, you can see why
this happened. It's pretty standard that a meeting under NDA means that even the fact that the meeting exists is covered by the non-disclosure agreement. So... I can understand (at first glance) how Palm reacted. But, Palm really should have taken a step back and looked at the larger picture. Having the guy reveal the meeting was hardly a big issue. The bigger issue is helping developers feel as comfortable as possible developing for the Pre and making the device as valuable as possible. Freaking out over a harmless "leak" about the meeting is missing the big picture in a way that only hurts Palm. Update
: Looks like things are getting worked out with Palm apologizing
for overreacting and a nice airing of differences
that seems to have worked well for both sides.